KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — Pharmaniaga Bhd is expected to complete its contractual obligation of supplying 12 million Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine doses to the federal government by next month, sufficient to cover some 18 per cent of Malaysia’s population.
Group managing director Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope said the vaccine has been approved by the World Health Organisation and the recognition is a boost of confidence in the battle against the pandemic.
“We are bullish on the group’s outlook this year and we expect a better financial year 2021 performance with the continuous ramping up of the Sinovac vaccine supply.
“The China Food and Drug Administration has recently given emergency approval for the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to children aged three to 17 and manufacturing of two doses per vial before submitting it to the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) for the variation process,” he said in a statement issued in conjunction with the group’s 23rd annual general meeting and extraordinary general meeting, which were conducted through live streaming, today.
Zulkarnain said Pharmaniaga would be submitting relevant documents to the NPRA for the variation process soon.
Upon obtaining approval from the agency, it would be able to ramp up its capacity from two million to four million doses a month, he added.
As part of the company’s long-term sustainability plan, Zulkarnain said the group aims to accelerate the growth of its halal vaccine manufacturing business.
“Our plan to establish the world’s first halal vaccine facility is progressing well by working closely with both the Malaysian Investment Development Authority and also the Halal Development Corp Bhd.
“The halal vaccine project has been selected as a pioneering initiative for policy and incentive development purposes,” he said.
The halal facility is targeted to start operating in 2024 while creating a new revenue stream for the group, Zulkarnain said, adding that the initiative would generate multiple positive spillover benefits, including improving the nation’s pandemic preparedness towards cultivating a sustainable vaccine supply chain.
In addition, he said it is expected to provide opportunities for upskilling local talent while increasing access to affordable vaccines for both local and international markets.
These would subsequently position Malaysia as a global vaccine manufacturer, Zulkarnain explained.
Boustead Holdings Bhd and Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera hold stakes of 55.93 per cent and 11.23 per cent, respectively, in Pharmaniaga.
At lunch break, shares of the pharmaceutical company soared 7.36 per cent to RM5.54 with 5.25 million shares transacted.